Wednesday, March 31, 2021

Charlie, a Troika Background, and pull-chit rules for dying of POiSoNNN

 CHARLIE

A Troika! Background (It's me)

Content Warning: I game-ify my anxiety.

Advanced Skills

  • 2 Running
  • 1 generate surplus value for capitalists
  • 2 Remain Silent
  • 2 Small Creature Friendship
  • 2 Find Humour
  • 1 Entertaining Game Time
  • 1 CharAnxiety
  • -1 Penmanship

Possessions

  • Notebook 
  • Warped metal pen (as knife)
  • String (1 meter)
  • Silver religious(?) symbol
  • Mask
  • Pamphlet Dungeon Map
  • 1d6 anti-anxiety ampoules in a jar shaped like a beetle

Notes on New Skills!

Remain Silent can be used in lieu of Etiquette, as long as the Charlie remains silent and goes along with the other being. It also can have other uses.

Small Creature Friendship does not charm or control animals, but they will treat the Charlie as a friend or at least a distant uncle. Small animals are up to the size of a large dog, but not a truly massive dog.  Cats and snakes are not included - roll in their respective Mien tables.

Find Humour can both find entertaining things about the situation or locate actual bodily humours.

CharAnxiety can be used to have 1 obscurely appropriate tool for a task in a given session, but sometimes one must fail an Anxiety skill roll to get shit done, especially when carrying out the drudge-work of the Gleaming Capital Lords. It cannot(?) be used when eating anxiety ampoules.

LOTS OF PEOPLE WILL EXPERIENCE ANXIETY DIFFERENTLY. This is just how The Charlie does it!

BESTIARY

CAT

Skill 8, Stamina 4, Init 3, Damage as Knife. 

Mien

  1. Distracted
  2. Secretly Angry
  3. Overtly Angry
  4. Disinclined
  5. Sleeping
  6. Playful
You think you know them. You know nothing. They will tolerate us for a time longer. How long, only they know. They abide us, they indulge us. Or not. Moment to moment, it is their choice.

---

SNAKE

Skill 9, Stamina 4, Init 4, Damage as small beast + potentially POISON

Mien
  1. Danger! Noodle!
  2. d_ANGER (noodle)
  3. danger?? Nooooodle!!!
  4. Snoot boop
  5. Sleep
  6. Sunbathe
3-in-6 the snake is poisonous. If so, and if bitten, put 2d6 dice of one color and 1 die of another in a bag. Every 5 minutes at the table (or if the PCs travel for a while), have the player draw a die out of the bag. If they draw the 1 unique colored die, their character dies. Some snakes allow one to put more (or fewer) 'safe' dice in the bag.

Snakes generally only attack if stepped on, or if they feel threatened.  If left alone they will not attack, unless one is the size of a rodent.



Tuesday, March 30, 2021

Strange Loops, a spark table pocketmod 'adventure' 'generator'

I've been busy and depressed but here's the spark tables I used to put together some point-crawl horror stuff for that system I put together, CESR. You should be able to right-click on the image, click 'view in another tab', and see the pocketmod in its original size and print it from there. HAVE FUN exploding heads and such! There's no way out written into this so think of that before you start.
Strange Loops A4 (Americans noooo)

Strange Loops Letter (Americans Use This) ^^^

Friday, January 22, 2021

Gaining Insight Rather Than Losing Sanity

Insight has a positive ring to it. We can destroy that.

The Wizard of Macke Town is a fantastic blog with a relevant blog post. Bloodborne apparently tracks 'frenzy' and this can, if accrued, cause horrible damage to the player. The wizard adapts this to games with Wisdom scores. 

One gains Frenzy by encountering horrible things ('reading the grimoire deals 1d6 Frenzy damage and teaches you to speak to vermin'), gaining new knowledge of the world when speaking to some monsters. When your Frenzy score and Wisdom score are equal, you take double your Wisdom in HP damage.

Image from Scanners


I would also posit that memorizing a spell should add to Frenzy - say, the spell's level determines how much Frenzy you gain when you memorize it. The spell will squat in your skull for as long as you want - you don't forget it when you sleep, you dream of it. Dream of it watching you. Anyone can memorize any spell they want - they just are in more and more danger of Frenzy making them burst blood vessels, have heart attacks, or have their head explode. 

Now anyone can be a wizard - in plate mail or kevlar or just a comfy pair of joggers.

Another nice bonus is that this doesn't conflate horror with real-world psychological issues. You don't gain so much insight you get depression. You gain so much that your head explodes from the inside as the horrible living ideas try vainly(?) to flower and spore with your dying flesh. Rates of depression and anxiety here in the US have doubled in the last year, thanks to Trump's inability to lead in the face of a global pandemic. And even before this, mental health was considered a huge, yet systemically unaddressed problem. Given this, I prefer a system that doesn't tell you that you have PTSD or anxiety or depression during fun-relax-time. 

I need something far more fantastical and strange.

To this end I have written a very simple character sheet and 'system' for this: CESR, Charlie's Eerie Simple Roleplaying. It owes a lot / steals from The Black Hack, Nate Treme's NOSR, Jared Sinclair's Anti-Sisyphus, and of course The Wizard of Macke Town. I am working through different Silent-Hill-4-esque scenarios of surreal mismatched interior places, dungeon crawls, where one must battle monsters and their own insight. 

Soon there will be more.

Saturday, December 5, 2020

Not Dead But Dreaming: Noble Hunt adventure for Acid Death Fantasy, 24?? Supplement for 24XX games

 Despite 2020's efforts I am not yet dead. I am alive. I have dreamed adventures and things. I have published more things on itch.io. I have more things I must do. I am not yet ready to slumber in a grave, my skull embraced by the warm dirt, my eye-sockets full of worms, my brain-meat translated by them to Earth.

Library of Congress + PHOTOMOSH


2400

If you have not bought 2400 yet, you should. It is a fantastic cluster of systems and settings which covers classic cyberpunk, Classic Traveller, RIFTS/time-asplodin, space horror, science-fantasy... lots of things. There are a ton of hacks for it because Jason (the author) put together a great jam and a great 24XX SRD and template pack

Anyway, I wrote some character 'classes' / backgrounds and enemies to go with some of the wackier, more science-fantastical stuff. 24??: Enemies and Allies. There are ant-mecha, there's Entropy Wizards fighting anti-entropy wizards, there's luchadors, there's all kinds of stuff. 

Acid Death Fantasy Adventure: Noble Hunt

Some shit nobles are hunting desert folk. You can hunt them back. And do prophecy-inducing drugs! I took a lot of Dune ideas and jammed them into Acid Death Fantasy, added in a bunch of super-lo-fi 'layout' and, yeah. Noble Hunt. You can explore a titanic skull-cavern and find living memories, you can crawl under razorwire and over worm-traps, you can befriend soldier-conscripts and save them from shitty nobles. 

What's coming

Dang Mork Borg has teased this: CY BORG. I am super down. I am ready. It may be ready in 2021. I cannot wait that long. I have begun to compile a list of Modern/Future Miseries based on, what else, how hard the rich are trying to kill us all for their amusement / bank accounts. Heavily based on a Dread X Collection game, Shatter, which is a fantastic short game about how apocalyptic and horrid cyberpunk could be. Mork Borg has a great open 3rd party license, so I'm going to put some stuff together for it. I'm not trying to steal Cy Borg's thunder because I literally could not, but I want to play some mud-pit-cyberpunk (emphasis on the PUNK) before 2021. 

Saturday, August 15, 2020

The War On Christmas

There's no RPG content here folks, just proof that conservatives hate Christmas.

In America now the President, a trash bag of human skin, is hobbling the Post Office, an organization enshrined in the Constitution. By attacking the Post Office, it's possible holiday cards will need to be shipped via private carriers - most of which charge around $6 per letter at present. At that rate sending 20 Christmas cards will cost $120 in shipping. We send about 100 Christmas cards a year, but we won't be doing this if we have to budget $600 for shipping letters.

Conservatives are enabling this and debating for this in some cases. 'Not all conservatives!' I know is being shrieked. But if you vote for this, you're asking for it. A war on sending Christmas cards is a war on Christmas. USPS ships more in a month than Fedex and UPS in a year. If you want your nieces and nephews to get their Christmas presents, the choice is clear.

I have loved and thrown lots of money into the last two Zinequests on Kickstarter; I'm hoping the USPS doesn't get so hobbled that we cannot ship zines around my country. And/or destroy all kinds of small businesses that utterly rely upon shipping infrastructure, established by our Constitution.

If you are still here, I should say: I've been vocal about this on Twitter as well, but it's worth pointing out - Black Lives Matter. Trans rights are human rights. And now back to RPG content! I lied before! I am capricious!

RULE ZERO - ACAB

This came out of a discussion on twitter, where Fiona rightly pointed out that the best rule zero is that all cops are bastards. Even if you believe otherwise (buh bye) this is a great rule zero for any modern campaign. 'Why don't the protagonists go to the police?' Well all the cops are bastards. If some monster is terrorizing the town the police will pin it on the PCs for trying to come forward. They'll arrest the PCs for knowing about the terror that the police have been trying to hide, because they want to avoid public panic. Unrealistic? Just check out our coronavirus response.

Or the cops are working for the monsters... Think of BLADE. 

Are You Out Of Your Damn Mind

Watch how the cops yell freeze, Wesley Snipes turns around calmly, and then the cops start blasting. Now I know someone will show up to whine that he's holding a sword! And wearing black clothes! But the cops or hospital security or whatever are far away, and this movie was made before the '21 foot rule' became a popularly misunderstood reason for capping people. 

Also there is a VAMPIRE that has been burnt but it somehow still alive and he has blood on his face from biting and sucking human blood, but do the cops shoot the vampire? NO! They shoot at the Big Scary Black Man With A Katana. Because he turned around calmly.

This is of course because most of the law enforcement is in league with the vampires in the Blade cinematic universe. 

So the next time the PCs want to get the police to fight cosmic horror for them, just remember: all cops are bastards. 

Friday, August 7, 2020

What's So Cool About Modern Occultists and a Burning Revolving World

I wrote a game! It's here: What's So Cool About Sigils and Bibliomancy When The World Is Aflame

It's about people dealing with how terrible the world is through a collection of simple resolution systems that involve doodling magic symbols and divination and stuff. It's a d6-only system where sometimes you roll 1d6, sometimes you roll 2d6, sometimes you flip over tarot cards or use whatever divination oracle you want, and sometimes the GM makes up a new system of magic and drops it on you and the world. Sometimes riot cops are kicking down you door, sometimes the giants beneath the Earth are kicking in their sleep.

Art by Jakub Rebelka

It's very simple, there's almost no art or layout work, and I still need to re-edit it and re-upload it at some point, but I wanted to get something out there rather than try to find more time to polish it forever and never get done with it.

Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Towards an Anti-Canonical Not-Warhammer 40k: Blood Floats In Space

Blood Floats in Space is a great Mothership supplement that imagines a beauty-obsessed space authority and its vassals, the Empire Without Borders Or Competition. Ruled with martial law, social classes are determined by beauty, systems with aesthetic flaws are destroyed and harvested for their base parts. The zine adds in two new classes - an armor entombed warrior and a ticking time bomb of a psyker. 


art by ArielP
The armor warrior can straight-up replace the Marine class, which is cool - all off-brand Astartes and no Imperial Guard with their flashlights, I say. The Psyker class freakin can melt its own face off if it successfully uses its powers a lot, much less if it fails psychic cast rolls. That's perfect. Psychic powers are like lighting a stick of dynamite with your brain, the zine informs us, and this class' characters are going to screw that up and some point.

Horrible star gods are detailed, which are worshiped by people in the empire. There are a small number of new gear-bits, a great number of psychic powers with amazing names ('For Every Psychic That Dies To Their Own Folly, Another Dies In A Psionic Duel'), Psychic Catastrophes ranging from merely gross to rolling a new character, a character sheet, d100 amazing rumors and d100 Empire-specific trinkets for your PCs.

The Gods are great and terrible. Each has a paragraph about their history/domain, a d6 table of manifestations that could wreck the players' day (or provide adventure fodder), and a final paragraph about their terrible human worshipers.

The Empire is ruled by the Empress, who was a popular musician before fusion with an alien lifeform and becoming an immortal floating space brain which commands the decaying remains of the delightfully-named Empire Without Borders Or Competition. 

I think there are a few things I'd love to add - the zine has some real fruitful voids where I want more stuff but I'm sure what I want is different than someone else. I feel like Mothership characters should get some Beauty stat for dealing with people in the Empire, and that maybe characters with a higher starting Beauty stat have some kind of Noble 'class' that they can unlock. A Noble would be good at, I dunno, dueling and evaluating poison in food. And that's about it. They're pretty (by Empire standards) and pretty useless. 

Maybe there should be mutation - just use A Pound of Flesh! But it should reduce your beauty stat? Because the Empire hates mutants because Empires are actually dumb. 

The PCs are sent on tasks that will likely gain mutations and have to hide them, Nobles are foppish and like the opposite of Teamsters, psykers are as useful and dangerous as unstable explosives, the Gods sometimes manifest in benevolent ways but really aren't here for anyone but themselves. It's a cool zine with a great setting in it - both explicit and implicit.